Baxter's Blog


Posted in Gallery, Helpfull Stuff by misterroadtripper on June 2, 2010


Eagan, Minnesota. Now there’s a city out of the tattoo mainstream. So, I get the usual letter of inquiry… No, wait a minute. There was no letter with the diskette, just a handful of business cards and a few bumper stickers proclaiming “Rockin Tattoos, Eagan’s Premier Tattoo Shop.” The diskette was labeled with the name Joe Christensen and a phone number, in black Sharpie. Besides the fact that the word “Rockin” had no apostrophe (it should be: Rockin’) and the enveloped was addressed to our advertising director, I popped the disk into my computer, clicked on “Slide Show” and hoped for the best. (By the way, to see them better, click on the images and they will enlarge.)

The first images I saw were not terrible, just nothing special… or individual or innovative. Just the usual roses and a sugar skull (a pale version next to a swingin’ sugar skull by Uncle Tim, for example). And the roses weren’t anything like a Henry Goldfield rose. In fact, I’m not sure what they were.

Joe's Rose

Goldfield Rose

I was just about to pull the plug, when, just by chance, a couple of interesting images came up on the screen. Here’s the one that changed my mind (below):

Tiger by Joe Christensen

And these were pretty cool, too:

Joe's Flash

Very Cool Joe Flash

Looking back, if Joe had sent me just the cream of the crop, his very very best, I might have jumped at the chance to feature his work on the website, but, because there were about an equal number of good images and so-so ones, I was that close to closing the door. I wish tattoo people who send me photos would edit and cull before they burn everything on a disk without thinking. It’s like buying a painting at a gallery show. You fall in love with it and are about to pay the big bucks, when you look the other walls and see that the artist’s other work is garbage. It kind of kills your enthusiasm for the one you wanted. Same with images on a disk. Bad ones can diminish an editor’s enthusiasm for everything else on the disk. So, that’s how it works and how certain photos get published and others don’t. But all said and done, while the artist’s friends and devoted customers may like a certain tattoo, that doesn’t mean an editor in charge of selecting pictures for their publication likes it. It’s all subjective. As the saying goes, “You want your work published? Get your own damn magazine.”

—Bob Baxter

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